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Lassa fever: Health officers destroy over 4,400 rats in 6 markets



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By Frank Oyakhilome

The Lagos Chapter of the Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN), Lagos State Chapter, on Monday said that it had destroyed no fewer than 4,400 rats at six major markets in the state under its de-rat market programme.

The president of EHOAN, Mr Samuel Akingbehin, revealed that his association carried out the exercise at Onigongbo, Oshodi , Oke-Odo, Ikotun Idanwo, Ojuwoye and Mile 12 Markets, adding that de-rating the markets was part of the association’s efforts to curb the spread of Lassa fever in the state.

Akingbehin said the exercise is strategic in the effort toward prevention of communicable diseases, as the public and relevant agencies have be mandated to de-rat markets when Lassa fever had broken out in many states. The disease, since its outbreak, had killed no fewer than 76 of its victims and over 200 cases across 17 out of the 36 states are quarantined and under observations.

Akingbehin appealed to traders from across the state to show an understanding toward the efforts of the association to rid the markets of rats and rodents. He said that the plan was to de-rat markets in one local government area per day starting from 5p.m. The association decided on this time to allow traders and buyers transact their legitimate businesses.

“We also decided to put the exercise in the evening due to the nocturnal nature of rodents and our members had recorded successes in the markets visited till date. It took us about three hours to cover the Oshodi market when our members went there for the exercise.” He said.

The de-rat programme is taking the association to Suru-Alaba Market in Orile-Ifelodun LCDA  as Akingbehin called    executive secretaries of the local government areas to assist us toward the elimination of rodents in our markets and our environments.

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